This was a really enjoyable book - because I'm a nerd. It plots the rise and rise of Helen, a young woman who has her mind uploaded to a computer earlThis was a really enjoyable book - because I'm a nerd. It plots the rise and rise of Helen, a young woman who has her mind uploaded to a computer early in the piece and ends up saving the world - or not, depending on your perspective, I suppose. The book was funny, clever, quirky, and well-informed - all attributes I love.
So why didn't it get 5 stars? Well, it had a bit of a structural problem. There was a part of the book where the focus on Helen's technology and its development came at the expense of the story and its development. It sagged. I kept reading through because I'm a nerd and I was fascinated by all the technical stuff and I loved the nods and winks and homages to popular SFF culture that went on throughout the book. But, nerdgasms aside, I was very glad when the technology gave way to story again and the author got on with it.
I've put Bryce C. Anderson on my list of sci-fi writers to watch. And, if you're a nerd too, you should read this book....more
Anne Rice is a great writer. Even though she specialises in fiction, I've read several of her novels and loved them. I really, really wanted her "ChriAnne Rice is a great writer. Even though she specialises in fiction, I've read several of her novels and loved them. I really, really wanted her "Christ the Lord" series to be good, so much so that, even though I didn't enjoy the first one, I still had to give it a chance and read the second one too.
Sadly, I didn't enjoy "The Road to Cana," either. The writing is still good but, somehow, the series is dull and flat. It's not just because I don't like fantasy and wouldn't normally read it. I loved her vampire novels. I suppose Rice is just too constrained by the Christian mythology she is following. There are no surprises, nothing new, no great leaps of imagination.
"Well, duh!" you're probably thinking.
But, even if you read the books as some kind of "fictionalised" biography (I believe Rice actually believes this particular mythology), you'd expect fascinating insights, leaps of intuition, something that delved deeply into the character of this god-made-flesh. But it isn't there. Yeshua is a pretty 2D character and so are all the people around him.
I won't be reading any further instalments, although I still think of Rice as one of my favourite authors....more
This was shaping up to be a pretty good sci-fi novel - until it turned into a fantasy novel with a really disappointing ending. The premise - an alienThis was shaping up to be a pretty good sci-fi novel - until it turned into a fantasy novel with a really disappointing ending. The premise - an alien visit to Earth many years ago is the key to saving one alien faction in a modern-day war many light-years away - was interesting, and the writing was solid. Sadly, the whole plot ended up hingeing on a magical, telepathic mind-meld and it turns out reincarnation is real - blowing away all credibility as a sci-fi story and leaving me shaking my head in bitter disappointment. Any novel that calls itself science fiction and then resolves the plot by waving a magic wand and pulling a rabbit out of a hat is a waste of time. It gets 2 stars because the writing and the characters were good. If it had not had such a disappointing ending, it would have deserved 4. Why don't writers of this stuff say up-front that it's fantasy so I can avoid it?...more
This was essentially a good, well-written book. I enjoyed the fact that it was scientifically solid and that it was discursive. The reason it doesn'tThis was essentially a good, well-written book. I enjoyed the fact that it was scientifically solid and that it was discursive. The reason it doesn't get a 5* rating is because it was rather too discursive, without going very deeply into any of the issues, and that the action scenes and the love interest felt as though they'd been tossed in there just to break up the monologue. There was also something just a bit too *nice* about the hero. I'm sure that people like that do exist but maybe they don't also opt-in to wild and dangerous adventures. The bad guys are, similarly, just a little *too* bad and apparently insane. The technical premise was nice, although the role the protagonist has in the study of the anomaly was so unlikely it stretched my credulity a bit (and what exactly was the reporter doing there?)
I believe Anomaly was Cawdron's first novel, so I'd cut it some slack, and I will definitely read more by this author....more